Most people injured in bicycle crashes in Arizona are men, according to data collected by the Arizona Department of Transportation in 2015.
The data showed that out of the 1,276 documented bike crash injuries, 983 of them involved a male cyclist. The injuries were most commonly recorded for men between the ages of 15-34 (413 accidents) with a later spike of accidents between ages 45-54 (172 accidents).
The people in this age range, made up of students and the young working class, are likely to ride a bike, according to a U.S. bicycle trend study conducted by Gluskin Townley Group in 2010. Their report shows about 50 percent of men and women in the above age range ride bikes.
Tempe has one of the highest bicycle commuting rates in the country, the city’s web site shows. It’s considered a Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. The state is also ranked 19th in bicycle friendliness by the organization.
Additionally, bicycle crashes only accounted for about one percent of all total crashes in Arizona, according to the ADOT data. However, it appears many men are disregarding bicycle safety practices.
Calum Robertson, a Tempe resident and frequent bike-rider, said he rarely sees cyclists wearing their helmet or following traffic laws.
“I’m sure over-confidence is a huge part of this (why more men than women are injured in bike accidents). I have noticed that the majority of male cyclists are willing to weave in and out of traffic or run through red lights,” sad Robertson. “I’ve seen women do this too, but when I see this happening, nine out of 10 times it’s a guy making a dumb decision.”
Robertson has never been in a serious bike accident, but once he scraped his knee after swerving on wet pavement to get out of a car’s way.
“I hit the back of the car...but there was no serious damage to me or the car, and I managed to keep on riding,” said Robertson.
Tory Prynn, an Arizona State University student, also rides her bike around Tempe frequently. Prynn believes more men get in accidents because they can push the bike’s limits easier than women can.
“Maybe they can ride (bikes) faster physically…I see a lot of guys riding without their hands (on the handles),” said Prynn.
Guy Lennon, an employee at The Pedal Bike Shop in Tempe, said a majority of his clients purchasing bikes are men, and that they’re the ones typically coming in with broken bikes. However, he said he’s not sure why more men ride bikes than women.
Normally, the damaged bikes will be the result of a car versus bike accident.
“Usually the front fork and the front wheel is damaged because somebody is going to pull out and hit them,” said Lennon.
However, in an area heavily populated by bike riders, accidents involving two cyclists are common.
Prynn was crossing the street one day when a man on a bike heading the opposite direction nearly collided into her.
“We both ended up swerving the same way (to avoid each other) and I hit the curb and fell over,” said Prynn.
Neither person involved was seriously injured.
In order to protect themselves from future injury, Lennon advises cyclists to wear their helmets and always follow the flow of traffic.